Diet is of immense importance to anyone with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes will either improve or worsen as the years go on, but we have a lot of say in how this will pan out. A new experimental study used a meal replacement rich in protein that’s made from soy, yogurt and honey. And it exerted beneficial effects.
The liquid meal replacement helped diabetics shed weight, gain better control of their blood sugar, and decrease their daily insulin dose. Patients in the study also lowered their body mass index (BMI), waist and hip circumference, and fasting glucose levels, while improving their HDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. These across-the-board promising results came to light recently at the American Diabetes Association’s 72nd Scientific Sessions.
At 12 weeks, these significant changes were spotted:
— Average insulin dose decreased from 147 to 65 units per day
— Weight decreased an average of 23 pounds
— Average HbA1c (a measure of how well blood sugar is controlled) dropped from 8.8% to 8.1%
— Fasting glucose (a measure of blood sugar after an eight-hour fast) dipped an average of 27.6 mg/dL
— BMI decreased an average of 2.6 kg/m2
— Average waist and hip circumferences were lowered 2.8 inches and 1.3 inches, respectively
— Triglyceride levels dropped an average of 70.3 mg/dL, while “good” cholesterol (HDL) rose 2.2 mg/dL
Researchers followed up again after 18 months. Four patients who kept taking the meal replacement had more drops in insulin doses, HbA1c levels, and weight. Two were able to stop insulin injections entirely. A larger study is now underway to confirm the findings.
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In type 2 diabetes, either the body does not produce enough insulin or it does not use the insulin it produces properly. Insulin is necessary for the body to be able to use blood sugar for energy. It takes the sugar from the blood into the cells. When blood sugar levels build up in the blood instead of going into cells, it can lead to diabetes complications, such as high blood pressure and heart disease. Increased weight is a significant risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Almost 60% of Americans with type 2 diabetes are obese
and nearly all others are overweight.
What this helps show is that diabetics who stay motivated, who remain committed to long-term dietary changes, and who exercise regularly, can make huge changes in their bodies. Changes they will see and feel.